COVID-19 Resources for Businesses
As the worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic begins to impact daily life in our community, it is important to understand how these changes could impact businesses and ways to adjust.
As more information and resources become available, we will work to update this page with those resources to provide you with as many resources as possible. If you have any questions about these resources, please reach out to our Economic Development Director.
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Affected Businesses Survey
In an effort to provide our Community with up-to-date information regarding affected business operations, we are asking all business owners or managers of businesses to complete this brief survey. Please only complete the survey once per location. The most recent responses will be used.
The most recent results from the survey are available here.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler recently released new guidelines unemployment filings and reemployment services. Information can be found on this website that pertains to the following:
How to File an Unemployment Claim
How Employers File Partial Claims
Contact Points for Reemployment Service
Certification of Administrative Rules Filed with the Secretary of State on March 16, 2020
In response to the recent development of COVID-19, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency. In accordance with Governor Kemp’s recommendation, the GDOL is providing online access to unemployment services, partial claim access for employers, and other reemployment services.
Employers are required to file partial claims on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period. Any employer found to be in violation of this rule will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid to the employee. Please note the following:
1099 employees will not file claims
Partial claims are only for employers with a UI numbers.
Temp Agencies must file a partial for employees - the employer for temp workers will not file a partial claim.
If any employee has already filed a claim, please reach out to your employers to file a claim for you with an accurate effective date which will supersede your claim and allow for expedited filing.
Georgia small businesses impacted by COVID-19 are now eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Additional information and applications are available here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans.
How to apply:
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
This loan program can be used to offset Economic Impact losses in a Presidential and Small Business Agency Declared Disaster Area. Information on affected areas can be found by clicking here.
Information on the specific enacting declaration (GA-00116) pertaining to Catoosa County can be found by clicking here.
These loans can be used to cover a variety of business expenses for those that are affected by the pandemic including paying fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact. The rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.
Additionally, the SBA has made available a list of programs and guidance for businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. These can be found by clicking here.
SBA Region IV
233 Peachtree Street NE Suite 1800
Atlanta, GA 30303
The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center has an office in Rome, Georgia that covers Catoosa County, with consultants available to assist small business owners through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan application process. You can find and connect with your local UGA SBDC office at this Link: https://www.georgiasbdc.org/rome-office/
Many of the SBDC offices are working remotely, so if you do call and get a voicemail, they will work to return your call as soon as possible.
UGA's Small Business Development Center developed this Guide to Conquering a Business Crisis. It offers helpful tips to business owners and managers through a crisis. Contact information for the SBDC's Regional Offices are listed as well.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so.
This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.
This is a link to the CDC's website that detail interim guidance for businesses and employers.
Information provided here includes:
Recommended strategies for employers to use now
Planning for a possible COVID-19 Outbreak
Important considerations for creating an infectious disease outbreak response plan
Links to several informational websites including the CDC's COVID-19 Website
This is a link to the Georgia DPH's COVID-19 Daily Status Report.
This is a link to the WHO's update-to-date situation reports.